Does anyone find Tyson vs. Holyfield I very overrated?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by William Walker, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Holy clearly had a resurgence going into this fight, he was not the shell he had been against Bowe a year earlier. But he was still past his prime.

    It's a bit harder still to know just how much Tyson had lost. He had started to looked convincing again, then got beat also in the rematch where he was in top shape, then was away for two years and was clearly past it when he came back.

    The fight lost much on my first rewatch, as I remember. The drama and the unlikely tactics Holy used was a big part of the whole thing.
     
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  2. Wass1985

    Wass1985 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Was it really a resurgence though or just that Holyfield stylistically was Tyson's kryptonite?

    Of course the mental aspect in fights is massive so the thought of facing Tyson may have relit his fire.
     
  3. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Against Bowe in 95 there clearly was something wrong with him. He was gasping for air after a couple of rounds. Bowe of 92 would have had that Holy out by the second or third round.

    Against Tyson he looked to have regained much of his former endurance. He looked like an aged version of his prime self, but not ill as he did against Bowe.
     
  4. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    This is the hard question for me, and probably for some other people. It's tough to say.

    I seem to remember (I could be wrong) that Liston came out of prison a total dynamo, so I'm not sure jail changes people for the worse as a rule. My problem with the theory is that Mike struggled with Ruddock twice, where Lewis knocked the crap out of him like he was nothing. To me, the Iron Mike who fought in the 80s would have run all over Ruddock...he wouldn't have lasted a round. So, even before prison I think Mike slipped a bit. Instead of post-prison, we could say post-Douglas (some would say post-Spinks, but I'm not sure he changed that much after his peak performance).
     
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  5. dinovelvet

    dinovelvet Antifanboi Full Member

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    Tyson looked good against Lou and Golota. The opponents made him look good. .Frank was done and never fought again and Seldon was Seldon.
     
  6. Wass1985

    Wass1985 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Bruno was done because Tyson finished his career.
     
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  7. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    "Struggled"? He hardly won a round in the first fight and was badly beat up in the second even though he landed a fair number himself. And hat he wouldn't last a round against Tyson in the 80's... Smith lasted 12 with similar tactics. Most of Tyson's opponents lasted more than one round and few of them were as durable as Ruddock.

    Yes, Lewis KO'd Ruddock in one, but the kind of defence Ruddock used against Tyson wasn't very effective against Lewis's rangy style with overhand rights. Also hard to know how much those beat downs by Tyson had taken out of Ruddock.

    Several of Tyson's opponents were dispatched quicker afterwards by other fighters. For example, soon after going the distance with Tyson, Smith was KO'd by - you guessed it - Ruddock.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  8. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I see what you mean about Ruddock, but (unless memory serves me incorrectly), Mike got rocked really hard by Ruddock on several occasions, spread out over two fights. I still think Iron Mike wouldn't have had to work even half as hard against him in the 80s. Ruddock would have been steamrolled over by prime Mike quicker than RR vs. Lewis. Just my opinion.

    Very valid point about Lewis' defense, too. And the Smith mention is also relevant.

    Didn't Ruddock kick the bejesus out of Dokes when Dokes was still considered a legitimate contender?
     
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  9. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Not so much in the first. He started to open up in the 5th and the 6th and might have won the 5th with some good shots, but Mike quickly got the better of the trading and stopped Ruddock in the 6th. I think Tyson looked sharp in that fight.

    In the rematch Ruddock definitely had more luck and landed a good number of bombs on Tyson. Other fighters would have been stopped, but Mike didn't really seem hurt even. While he looked a bit flat in this one (Ruddock was awkward, though, with his hook/uppercuts from weird angles and his holding) those that say Tyson couldn't face adversity should rewatch this. Just did and was impressed by how Tyson came back nearly every time Ruddock started to get some momentum going with hard shots.


    Yes, he looked quite formidable going into the first fight.
     
  10. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Lewis was punching down and just better stylistically matched for Ruddock.

    This mythical 1980s Tyson who would have disposed of Razor in one round — is that the one who went the distance with Bonecrusher and Mitch Green and nearly did so with Jose Ribalta? The one who needed five rounds to get Frank Bruno out of there when the post-prison version took just three?

    Styles make fights. And Tyson was never some nuclear weapon who was a guaranteed first-round KO winner against any and all comers. Ruddock was a big, strong, durable guy who Tyson, with his style and stature, had to chop down. That would have always been the case.
     
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  11. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Sonny Liston, Dwight Qawi, Bernard Hopkins and others seemed to have come out and made themselves better. It’s not prison — it’s how you handle it.
     
  12. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    All respect, but if styles make fights, Bonecrusher hugged through nearly all of his fight with Mike, while Ruddock took way more chances (in pretty much all his fights). And Green was an almost completely different fighter stylistically from Ruddock.

    I could be wrong.
     
  13. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    In the first Ruddock mostly hugged and was promptly put away when he decided to actually fight.

    In the second he put in a much better showing (and/or Mike a worse). Credit to him that he felt he could improve on his performance, and did, despite being dominated first time around. Could be that Mike thought he'd be even easier in the rematch, not the other way around certainly, and didn't take the fight as seriously as he should.

    It should be said, though, that while Smith threw typical straight punches that Mike saw coming a mile away and easily got under, Ruddock tried to time him with that sneaky but very explosive uppercut/hook when he was coming in low.

    At the end of the day, Ruddock quite likely put in the performance of his career in the rematch against Tyson on what seemed a bit of an off night for Tyson and he still got beat pretty bad. Look what happened to Lewis and Wlad when that happened to them against big, hard punching guys.

    Due to this narrative of Tyson's decline every fight that he wasn't dominating every second is seen as proving the decline, when Ruddock really didn't give him more trouble than Tucker did.

    An almost 240 lbs durable monster puncher that actually had boxing skills (that he kind of neglected in favour of his power) giving you a bit of trouble at times on a night that he's really on, isn't anything strange really.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  14. Wvboxer

    Wvboxer Member Full Member

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    I have a poster for a proposed Tyson Vs Holyfield fight that was to have taken place before Mike went to prison. This matchup was one that had been looked forward to for years. I remember after Holyfield beat Qawi the 2nd time, the talk was about how he’d do against Tyson. I remember some ABC preflight special that aired before Tyson vs Spinks. Holyfield was interviewed and described as being a big threat on the horizon. Once Holyfield turned heavyweight, every fight was analyzed with regards to how he’d do against Tyson. “Oh Alex Stewart hit him too much. Tyson would kill him.” I used to joke that I have to live long enough to see Tyson vs Holyfield! Lol! It was a big deal.

    Going into the first match , I remember concern that Holyfield might have a heart attack or something. Tyson appeared to be back to his 80’s peak. For me, I hadn’t seen many of Tyson’s 90’s fights. I wasn’t in a position to get pay per view back then. As far as I knew, Tyson had regained his sharpness. This fight was going to be a mismatch. That’s why I think Tyson vs Holyfield was fight of the year. No way Tyson was going to lose that fight. It’s a dramatic fight but not an all time great one.

    If they’d met in their primes, I can’t see Tyson blasting Holyfield out but I think he would’ve had the willingness to grind through a competitive bout and get a decision. His mental makeup was better & he fought so much he was always pretty sharp. I wonder how 80’s Tyson would’ve handled an opponent that came to fight like Evander. I think it’s a close fight that either guy could’ve won.
     
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  15. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Smith hugged and Tyson was content to let him.

    Nobody has a style quite like Ruddock with the lead left half-uppercut being his basic punch. But Green, Bonecrusher and even Ribalta (as well as a guy named Buster) are all big stature guys who hung in there to some degree or other with Tyson (while Carl Williams, who has a great jab but is more frail, did not).

    There’s absolutely no basis for saying the 1980s version of Tyson would have KO’d Ruddock in the first round. The man gave him a pretty good tussle twice. He damned sure wasn’t scared or intimidated in any way. He took hellacious shots. There’s no reason to think he would have been blown out.